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  • Home » mage

    Arcane Mage Spec for Patch 4.0.1

    Posted on Oct 12, 2010 by: Jason Zimmerman
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    Since I consider Mage to be my number one alt and one of my favorite classes to play, I decided to follow up my Protection Paladin 4.0.1 post with an Arcane Mage blog post.

    Currently, I raid as an Arcane Mage which has proven to most the most widely used PvE spec during Wrath of the Lich King. This guide will help you to maintain your Arcane spec while simply updating it for patch 4.0.1.

    Going forward to Patch 4.0.3 and Cataclysm however, I am excited for the opportunity to try Frost and Fire Mage specs in PvE and in Raid content. I will look further into those Mage specs in further blog posts.

    Let’s take a look my PvE Arcane Mage specs for 4.0.1.

    Arcane Mage Spec Patch 4.0.1

    Arcane Tree:

    A lot of the talents in the Arcane tree are pretty obvious choices and should be taken. The following three talents can be taken at your discretion based on play style and raid needs/encounter needs.
    Improved Blink
    Prismatic Cloak
    Improved Arcane Explosion

    The talents I avoided are:
    Improved Counterspell – PvP or very situational PvE
    Invocation – PvP or situational PvE depending on required interrupts
    Improved Polymorph – PvP

    Fire & Frost Trees:
    Master of Elements – The only fire talent worth taking at level 80. Helps you save on mana.

    Piercing Ice – The must have Frost talent. It gives increased critical strike chance–enough said.


    Update: Mage Glyphs are broken in game right now.

    See my Arcane Mage 4.0.1 Glyph Post for my updated Glyph list.

    Thanks to commenter Michael, UK for his thoughts on gemming. I’ve decided to include them in the updated version of this post now.

    Get rid of all spirit gems, not needed anymore. Replace the Purified Dreadstones with Veiled Dreadstones. Replace your spirit leg enchant with Sapphire Spellthread.

    • Red Socket: +20 Intellect
    • Orange Socket: +10 Intellect / +10 Haste
    • Purple Socket: +10 Intellect / +10 hit



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    • doug
    • doug
    • Arrowtipz

      Hey Jason convince Modem to upload some tank and DPS trees for DKs….I just kinda did what I thought was best but I really have no idea what im doing šŸ˜›

    • James Synkgar

      they took away my blastwave knockback. utter BS

    • Xion824

      Your Glyphs are incorrect on which section they belong to. Arcane Missiles is a Major, not Prime. Mirror Image is a Major, not Minor.

    • Azrockmca

      No, those are the correct levels of those glyphs, but Mage armor is major not prime

    • Guest
    • Dragonian123

      what rotation are you using for this spec ?

    • demonjedii

      what is borked?

    • Jordan

      Just a short question. Correct me if I’m wrong but usually mirror images use frost bolts with a slowing effect. By using the mirror image glyph and an arcane build, the images logically use arcane blast instead of the previously used frost bolts. Why would one exchange those two? Arcane blast = no slowing… Frost bolt = slowing?!

    • Amydevary21

      Because you want the maximum dps, if ur an arcane mage ur images using arcane blast=more dps.

    • Scansley

      What are arcane mages supposed to be gemming and enchanting for now? I.E. what are our primary stats?

    • Mike

      Also, with points in Nether Vortex, you should be slowing your own targets.

    • Michael, UK

      Get rid of all spirit gems, not needed anymore. Replace the Purified Dreadstones with Veiled Dreadstones. Replace your spirit leg enchant with Sapphire Spellthread.

      Red: +20 Intellect
      Orange: +10 Intellect / +10 Haste
      Purple: +10 Intellect / +10 hit

      Keep the rest as is.

    • Turulo

      “Arcane Power ā€“ The one mandatory major glyph because resetting cooldowns is only going to help you.”

      The glyph _does not reset the cooldown_ it only allows casting those spells without waiting a global cooldown.
      It just does something we already could do in 3.3.5 for free. Seems that Arcane Power now forces a GCD, although I’m not sure because I haven’t specced back to Arcane since the patch.

    • Dwiechman

      Did you notice that arcane mages can slow when they apply an Arcane Blast to a target?

      btw: Arcane missiles suck!!! I used to be able to volley off a proc that could do more damae than 2 pyroblasts before… now it takes 3 of them to = 1 pyroblast. Way to drop the ball Blizzard. Let’s make Arcane Mages a 1 button class instead of a 3 button class.

    • Dwiechman

      Has this been tested? Do mirror images that are arcane actually cause more damage using AB or is this just a thought that arcane blast > frostbolt, therefore arcane blast should be > frostbolt for mirror images, too??

      When was the last time blizzard made a cosmetic change that was a dps increase?? Come on, now…

    • Dwiechman

      No… mage armor is a prime glyph… should be major, but whatever… Mirror images is a major glyph, not a minor one…

      I, for one, am not liking the changes made on talent trees and scaling…. Shadow Priests, and their 1 button execute phase should be proof of that…

    • Tferg57

      Your glyph are wrong Acr missles isn’t prime>

    • lol

      haha, shadow priests use more spells than mages… way more “advanced” than mages have ever been. We need to watch our DoTs and reset them perfectly to get a high dps.. mages= arcane blastx4 then arcane missiles..

    • Dwiechman

      Ok, maybe I didn’t make myself clear. I am not liking the changes made on talent trees and scaling… FOR ANYONE!!! I have a shadow priest, and this post was not meant to be a slam on shadow priests, it was just the most obvious and vulgar example I could think of. Arcane mages and their inevitable 1 button play style is crap, too. How’s that?

    • Anonymous

      Zygor’s add-on specifically violates Blizzard’s add-on policies. Anyone using it and getting caught risks a ban.

    • Anonymous

      If someone will give me a poke tonight on Lightbringer I’ll bring in TheIcesnake and do some DPS testing on the target dummies.

    • eien

      arcane missles have one purpuse when they proc its a mana free cast. you see chaining AB you run out of mana pretty fast. its a way to stretch your mana pool out a little longer.

    • Argyron

      when was the last time Blizz made a cosmetic change and charged you a major glyph spot for it. It does increase dps, your mirror image crit’s more with arcane blast if you’ve specced right than they do with frostbolt

    • Metababe

      Intellect over spell power on the gems?

    • Jason Zimmerman

      Spell power gems have been removed from the game. It is now just intellect which gives you spell power.

    • Jason Zimmerman

      Spell power gems have been removed from the game. It is now just intellect which gives you spell power.

    • Shibby

      Correction my friend: Arcane Blast also casts Slow on your target, just a matter of glyphing and speccing, and it’s defenitly worth speccing, cause it is very usefull on bosses with a fast casting that need interuption.
      And the mirror image thing: there is a bug, cause my images still cast frostbolt => 2x slow? =)

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    • kevin

      what glyph are you using for this spec

    • David M Alexander

      What do you mean imp poly is pvp? If a sheep is broken there is a 3 second period where the mob can be re-polyed, or the tank can have time to become aware and charge/get aggro. Invocation is dependent? I CS almost every pull in every heroic; there is very little to spend in at that point.
      Now, incanter ‘s absorption, THAT’s a mistake, you want your shield to burst and chuck mobs towards other packs? Imagine in stonecore where mobs often hit you regardless of aggro due to their mechanics.
      To put it simply, this is not a good spec.

    • Ethyss

      Mirror images that do Arcane Blast also benefit from the “Arcane Specialization” passive ability that arcane mages get. Consider that.

    • dlr

      loving frost spec atm however my dps is low in that so.. here reading this post for useful information i read someone blogging a complaint about nerfs.. preist was whacked into the stone ages way way back when i played one long before what blogger describes.. loved it and spĀ dominated mages in pvp. one thing blizz has done is remain consistent in pissing off their client base by constantly whacking them with nerf sticks. ty for the posts folks. entertaining and useful both. ty too for the mage info. love my mage. hopefully they will rebalance the other two specsĀ  so as to not forceĀ us to allĀ have to be arcane to manage credible dps in raidsĀ 

    • im better

      The best DPS i have ever run is Arcane Blast x4 followed but missiles with the blast stack effect (also cast arcane power just before missiles) with the stack effect of the blast i could end 1-2 pvp or pve targets with just one of those run throughs